Elderly people with type 2 diabetes have an accelerated loss of skeletal muscle strength compared with nondiabetics their age, according to a new report in Diabetes Care.

Elderly diabetics lose leg muscle strength about 50% faster than their peers without diabetes, which may explain why they are more likely to suffer physical disability, according to researchers.

Researchers studied more than 1,800 people aged 70-79. A total of 305 had type 2 diabetes. Study findings suggest that diabetes may cause functional impairments in the muscular function of the legs that are not necessarily accompanied by the loss of muscle mass.